“I’m only happy when it rains
I’m only happy when it’s complicated
And though I know you can’t appreciate it
I’m only happy when it rains
You know I love it when the news is bad
Why it feels so good to feel so sad
I’m only happy when it rains.” ~ Garbage, “I’m Only Happy When It Rains”
Oh, how I abhor drama. Not just drama; also drama queens, attention whores, and people who say they hate drama. A bit ironic and hypocritical, right? I thought so too.
All I wanted was to get over my estranged Cancer cusp ex. Because we can never go back to what we had, it’s a closed chapter in the stranger-than-fiction novel that is my life, my only option is to muddle through the grief and the pain that I initially postponed feeling until I emerge on the other side of it, hopefully at peace, hopefully wiser.
Two weeks ago, we had a two-hour phone conversation to “clear the air,” as he put it. We said things that needed to be said, put a lot of unfinished business to bed, after which my beloved pointedly told me, “If by ‘being friends’ you mean you want to be buddies, talk all the time, and hang out? No, not happening. But if by ‘being friends’ you mean we don’t hate each other, we don’t want anything bad to happen to the other, if we have to communicate we can do it without cussing, then yeah, I want that. I’m not trying to sound like an asshole about it; I just want to be left alone, I want to live my life.” Ouch. But I agreed. I didn’t like it, not one bit. But I knew he was right. The past should stay in the past. I tried to focus on the fact that at least we were speaking again after more than 14 months of absolutely zero contact, and to be grateful for small favors.
Late the following evening, I was surprised and overjoyed to receive a text from my Cancer cusp. A drunk text, but hey, that’s okay; it obviously meant he was thinking of me…which is good, right? It stated something along the lines of, “I’m a douchebag because I’m doing what I said I wasn’t going to do [communicating with me unnecessarily] but I don’t care; I’m feelin’ good.” Upon receiving that, just basking in the glow of knowing I was on his mind in any capacity, I too was feelin’ good. The next weekend, it was my turn to drunk text the ex. I told him I must be a douchebag too and because he drunk texted me the week prior, I owed him one. He seemed to think it was amusing, and he texted me the next day to let me know I could feel free to drunk text him again anytime. But the drunken, uninhibited messages were the only contact we had. After all, I reminded myself, he made it painfully crystal clear that he didn’t want to be “buddies,” he wanted to live his life and be left alone.
“Happiness one step behind
This inner peace I’ve yet to find
Rivers flow into the sea
Yet even the sea is not so full of me
If I’m not blind why can’t I see
That a circle can’t fit where a square should be
There’s a hole in my heart that can only be filled by you
And this hole in my heart can’t be filled with the things I do.”
~ Extreme, “Hole Hearted”
Fast-forward one week later: Late Sunday evening, my phone vibrated. I opened the message and was again surprised to discover it was from my Cancer cusp. He told me he was “a bit worn out” from having spent a weekend at the river with his cousins. Now, what is this? I wondered. Don’t get me wrong; I was thrilled to receive an unexpected text from my love. It made my day, my night, my weekend. But he didn’t have to tell me about his river adventure. That would fall into the category of “unnecessary communication,” would it not? But I played it cool. Easy breezy. I asked him questions about his cousins, how they were doing these days, etc.; after all, they were once my family too. We exchanged a few more messages and called it a night.
Three nights later around 10:30pm, I was minding my own business, playing the addictive-as-all-hell game SongPop on Facebook with The Big Bang Theory in the DVD player for background noise, when my phone vibrated. Once again, a surprise text message from the Cancer cusp. It started with a few generic “what’s up?” type messages, which eventually led to him asking, “We b cool these dayz, rite?” [sic] I responded that I had absolutely no hard feelings toward him and in fact, I had hoped we could hang out and talk more but I respected his desire to be left alone, and that I was just glad we were on good terms. He replied, “K. Im at neils. He gon 4 da nite.” [sic] He asked me where I was, and I told him. I asked if that was a backhanded way of trying to, wink wink, you know, invite me over. He told me it was.
Say no more! I probably broke the landspeed record as I raced out the door, jumped in the car, and sped off in his direction.
Seventeen minutes later, I was knocking on the door of my Cancer cusp’s uncle’s house. I was shaking in my flipflops waiting for what felt like an eternity before he opened the door. Next thing I knew, I was standing face to face with the love of my life for the first time since April 29, 2011. He opened his arms and we hugged for several seconds. I don’t even know if there is a single word in the English language to accurately convey how I felt in that moment. Bliss. Contentment. Peace. Love. Safe. Whole. It was what I felt for the eight years we were together, all flooding back. It felt right, exactly as it did when we first got together nine years earlier. Like a homecoming. Like this is how it’s supposed to be.
We sat outside for over an hour, drank a few beers, talked, laughed, reminisced, caught up on where life had taken each of us in the previous 14 months. Some of the events he recalled to me stung, in particular when he revealed that, last summer, he had started to fall for a girl 21 years his junior. I could not care less who or how many people he had slept with during that period of time, but it cut me like a knife when he mentioned having had feelings for this girl. Although it only lasted a few months, tops, and it’s long over and done – in fact, they haven’t spoken in well over a year – it still hurt. I didn’t show it though. I put on my best poker face and let him continue sharing. After all, I wasn’t exactly celibate during that year and two months in Arkansas. But still, I hadn’t had feelings for anyone I slept with during that time either.
When he told me how he ended up moving from Kansas to Oklahoma, he mentioned that he had arrived on June 15th. My jaw dropped and I stated incredulously, “I got here on June 16th.” He was as blown away by that revelation as I was. But the facts remain: we hadn’t communicated at all between May 10, 2011 and July 31, 2012. Yet, on literally almost the exact same day, we were both unknowingly coming from two totally different directions to set up house a mere 15 miles apart in the same city. Coincidence? No way. There are no accidents, no coincidences. The Universe is a place of organized chaos. I don’t care what anyone thinks: that was the Universe serendipitously winking at us as if to say, “Trust me. I know what I’m doing.”
We finally headed inside and proceeded once again, after more than a year apart, to have the Best Sex Ever. Sex between us had always been amazing. And we didn’t miss a beat; it was as if not a single day had passed. Afterward, we went back outside and sat talking a little longer. He confessed that he had been a little concerned things might get “weird” if we “went there” but he was relieved to discover that wasn’t the case at all; it felt perfectly natural; familiar; comfortable. Ditto for me. After a total of three and a half hours, I needed to head home and he needed to get to bed. We hugged and parted ways…only this time, knowing we would see each other soon rather than another year later.
If I die tomorrow, I am fine with that. I couldn’t have hoped for this; I never would have dreamed that night would happen. And I was on top of the world as I drove home.
I can’t help but wonder, though, what will happen from here. I know I can’t properly grieve the loss of our relationship under these circumstances. Sex definitely complicates matters. By hooking up when we have both acknowledged still having feelings for one another, regardless of whether or not they would eventually lead to anything more, have we opened up that proverbial can of worms? Will it put me back to square one in the grieving process? What if he suddenly realizes we’ve become too close so he backs off out of fear and ceases all communication with me again? Is this only going to incite drama? The same drama I profess to hate? I don’t know. I certainly hope not. What I do know is, right now, I’m so grateful that he’s back in my life and that he has at least warmed up to the idea of being friends. The definition of “friends” that I had hoped we would be from the start. My feelings for him run far too deep for me not to do this, for me to not take this chance.
I suppose time will answer my burning questions soon enough. Stay tuned…